Scenic Spots Of China
Full Description Of Tourist Information And Backgroud History About The Scenic Spots In China.
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Hongcun and Xidi 宏村和西递
Hongcun is known as rhe “cow-shaped village” since the pond is shaped like a cow’s belly and the dyke looks like one of the cow’s legs. More than 800 years old, the village was first constructed during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The village now boasts 158 residential buildings that date back to the Ming (1368-1644)and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Nearly 140 are still in good shape. Although new buildings account for 30 per cent of the village’s total area, they are either smartly concealed or far removed from the aged ones. Some villagers have already moved out of their ancestral jomes to make way for tourists. Others still live there and open parts of their homes to visitors. Local authorities have bought ancient homes from owners who prefer to move into new ones. And local authorities only allow villagers to rebuild their houses nearby the village, so that they don’t overshadow the ancient ones. Before Mt. Huangshan became a city in 1987, it had no air or rail links to the outside world; the nearest city was hours away. From their imposing look to delicate ornamental details like woodcarvings on window frames and banisters, the buildings feature fine workmanship that is hard to find today. This area was free from gunfire for hundreds of years. The Japanese aggressors didn’t come here.
Hongcun, like Xidi, is a paradise for architects. Judging from the general layout of the villages, Xide is meant to resemble a sailing boat. The Hui School architecture is depicted in the fancy architectural omaments. The concept behind Hui architecture is far more intricate than what the visitors have learned about saw-tooth, which local people call “horse-head,” and fire gables, which local people name “fish-belly” beams. Stunning delicate woodcarvings were engraved on the beams above the front lounge of the Chenzhi Hall, the house of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) salt dealer Wang Dinggui in Hongcun Village. One depicts dozens of playful children celebrating the Lantern Festival by setting off firecrackers, beating drums and gongs or blowing trumpets. Another portrays dozens officials playing stringed musical instruments, painting or doing calligraphy at four tables. Barbers and tea servants are shown working behind them. The memorial archway—built in 1578 and dedicated to Hu Wenguang, a Xidi native who became a high official of the Ming Dynasty—is a masterpiece of stone carving. The best brick carving ever in Xiyuan, or west garden, at the house of another prominent Ming-dynasty official from Xidi. The pine, bamboo, plum blossom and rocks look real. The 13 stone pillars on the north end of the pond are said to be the guardians of the village. Behind them is Lexu Hall. It is the ancestral temple of the Wang family, the first residents who formed the village in 1131. No wonder UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Committee added both Hongcun and Xidi to the World Heritage List in 2000.
Hong Village is laid out in the shape of an ox, with the higher end of the village—the Leigang Mountain—resembling an ox head. Centuries-old trees in the mountain tower to the sky just like ox horns. Hundreds of well-preserved ancient houses spread from east to west like the body of an ox. Another attraction of the village lies in its water supply system, which had been used for hundreds of years. Small and crisscrossing waterways link various households. Streams originating to the northwest of the village flow across the area through waterways. Local people describe the 1,000-metre long waterways as “the ox intestines.” The Moon Pond and the Nanhu Lake were formed by the streams and took the shape of the ox stomach. Villagers built four bridges over the streams, which are said to look like ox hoofs. The effective water supply system has survived two fires and was completed bu generations of villagers. The waterways were like the reins of the village, deciding the pulse of its daily life. Villagers grow flowers in the courtyards and various kinds of fish teem in the pond.
Mount Huangshan 黄山
Towering 1,873 metres above sea level in the south of Anhui Province, Mount Huangshan also called Yellow Mountain used to be called Mount Yishan 黟山 in the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). It got its present name in 747. Legend claims that the emperor came here to cultivate his moral character and try to make pills of immortality (as a Taoist practice), hence the name. Mount Huangshan encompasses 250 square kilometers, of which 154 square kilometers are the quintessence. It is one of the most magnificent scenic spots in China and is also a well-known attraction the world over.
Mount Huangshan is magnificent for its beautiful peaks and rocks. Of all the numerous peaks, 72 peaks are very famous, and half of them are big ones, the rest are small ones. The three biggest ones are the Lotus Flower Peak 莲花峰 (an elevation of 1,873 metres), the Bright Summit 光明顶 (an elevation of 1,841 metres), and the Heavenly Capital Peak 天都峰（an elevation of 1,810 metres）; The highest Lotus Flower Peak towers in the central part of Mount Huangshan. Clouds veil the peaks all the year round, changing the scenes of the mountains in a mysterious atmosphere. With the elapsing of time, nearly every peak composes of fantastic rocks.
Mount Huangshan is fantastic for its strange pines growing everywhere on peaks from 800 metres above sea level to the heights with immensely various postures-sticking out, sleeping, bowing, facing, upward, bending, reaching out, coiling, and hanging. The dark green and short needle-shaped leaves, the flat and spreading cap, the lopsided boughs and the stout and the grotesque trunks are the results of struggling against strong mists and storms. The “Cushion Pine,” “Phoenix Pine,” “Chessboard Pine,” “Black Tiger Pine,” “Sleeping Dragon Pine,” and the “Welcoming Pine” all are tenaciously struggling under the harshest conditions. The “Welcoming Pine” spreading out all its branches in one direction seems to embrace tourists both from home and abroad Mount Huangshan has a mysterious glamour for its spectacular sea of clouds all the year round. Geographically it is divided into give areas, which are called Five Seas: Front Sea, Back Sea, East Sea, West Sea, and Heavenly Sea. Once the sea of cloud is formed, it is magnificent and stretching to the horizon. Valleys and peaks are all submerged in the great waves of mists and clouds in the brightly sunny days. Sometimes the mountains in the clouds and fog, like islands in a raging sea, are playing hide-and-seek with visitors.
Mount Huangshan has a mysterious power of attraction for its world-famous hot springs, which were exploited over 1,000 years ago. It neither dries up nor overflows. Its temperature remains at 42℃, fit for both drink and bath. The water is a rare spring of carbonated type with remarkable curative effect on diseases of digestive system, nervous system, blood system, and the system of consciousness of motion. In addition, the waterfalls, the harping spring, limpid pools and clear streams are also eye-catching and will be even more enchanting after rain.
Mount Huangshan is not only beautiful in scenery, but also rich in natural resources. Profuse in medical herbs and alive with rare birds and animals, it is an ideal place for the study of flora and fauna.
Mount Huangshan is one of China’s best scenic areas. Xu Xiake 徐霞客 (1584-1641), a famous writer of travel books of the Ming Dynasty said:“ Having toured the Five Great Mountains, I wouldn’t care to visit other mountains; but I despised all the Five Great Mountains after I came back from Mount Huangshan.” Indeed, Mount Huangshan is everything: Mount Tai’s grandeur, Mount Hua’s power, Mount Heng’s clouds, Mount Lu’s waterfalls and Mount Emei’s clarity and cool.
Tourists can ascend to the White Goose Ridge 白鹅岭 in a cable car jointly managed by China and Japan. It takes only 8 minutes for a single trip. Tourists can enjoy mountain view through the windows of the cable car. The cableway goes up 773 metres above the ground, and tourists will be filled with apprehension while looking down at the steep cliffs and deep valleys.
The four ultimate beauties 四绝of Mount Huangshan are oddly shaped pines 奇松, its spectacular rocky peaks 怪石, sea of clouds 云海，and crystal-clear mountain hot springs 温泉。The scenes of Mount Huangshan are “the most spectacular under heavev.” Mount Huangshan is worthy of such praise.
The Mount Huangshan National Scenery Area won the Melina Mercouri Award for conservation and management of cultural scenery from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 联合国教科文组织。A ceremony was held early March 2000 in Beijing. The mountain is said to be one of the most famous natural scenic spots in China. In 1990, it was inscribed on the List of the World Cultural and Natural Heritages of UNESCO. Since then the local government has made great efforts to protect and manage the cultural and natural scenery of the area.
Mount Jiuhua 九华山
Ksitigarbha/Dizang (地藏道场) (the Bodhisattva of Salvation) is enshrined on Mount Jiuhua.
Mount Jiuhua 九华山 in Anhui Province, is one of the four Buddhist shrines, the other three are Mount Wutai 五台山 in Shanxi Province, Mount Emei 峨眉山 in Divhusn Province, and Mount Putuo 普陀山 in Zhejiang Province in China.
It is said that Ksitigarbha or Dizang (the Bodhisattva of Salvation) is enshrined on Mount Jiuhua﹡.Ksitigarbha is one of the Mahayana Bodhisattvas of Buddhism. Buddhism relates that after the death of Sakyamuni and begore the emergence of Maitreya, Ksitigarbha was the Bodhisattva that saved all the living creatures in heaven and in hell. Like the earth, he was believed to have posse4ssed an unlimited amount of the best strains of seeds.
Buddhism continues that in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Korean prince Kim Qiaojue came to China across the sea. He meditated for 75 years at Mount Jiuhua. During that period, Bodhisattva Dizang was preached, and large-scale construction of monasteries was undertaken. The Song (960-1279),Yuan (1279-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties witnessed great changes. During the heyday in history, there were over 300 monasteries with more than 4,000 monks. Pilgrims came to Mount Jiuhua all the year round, and was reputed as “the Fairy City of Buddhist Kingdom”有“佛国仙城”之誉。 With the elapsing of time, only 78 nibasterues wutg iver 1,500 Buddhist images have left on Mount Jiuha.
The great poet Li Bai (701-762) in the Tang Dynasty traveled to Mount Jiuhua three times, and wrote the wonderful lines on “Nine lovely hibiscus blooms springing up, out of blue water in the far-off sky 天河挂绿水，绣出九芙蓉。”Following his example, over 300 scholars of the past dynasties have left behind more than 500 popular verses. Here exist waterfalls, springs, peaks, and clouds, all are intoxicating; temples and nunneries built against the cliffs all possess the style of dwellings of South Anhui Province. At the shrine, visitors will find beauty in tranquility and cordiality in elegance. When visitors climb up the mountain along the northern route where the scenery is most beautiful and monasteries and hiatoric sites are most numerous. Ganlusi (Sweet Dew Temple) 甘露寺， one of the four Buddhist monasteries at Mt.Jiuhua, located half way up the mountain, is now Mount Jiuhua Buddhist College. Inside the temple, halls are spacious, Buddha images numerous, and luxuriant trees and tall bamboo make the environment peaceful and quiet. Looking from a distance, visitors See this lovely Taoyan Waterfall 桃岩瀑布 at its best when the river is swollen from seasonal rains. At this time the water spills over the tiers with tremendous force, creating a strong breeze that fans mist into every nook and cranny around the falls. The view is indeed spectacular.
Encompassing 120 square kilometers, Mount Jiuhua boasts 99 peaks, of which Tiantai (Heaven Platforn Summit) 天台峰 （an elevation of 1，325 metres），Lianhua 莲花峰，Tianzhu 天柱峰，and Shiwang 十王峰 are the most magnificent. The main peak of Shiwang towers 1,342 metres above sea level. There are over 300 monasteries scattered in the clouds and mist at Mount Jiuhia during the heyday in history. After experiencing many vicissitudes, only 78 monasteries have been left on Mount Jiuhua. It is said that Mount Jiuhua ranks first among all the four Buddhist shrines in China, in terms of the concentration of Buddhist monasteries, the furnishings in them and the perfection of the Buddhist images preserved.
Anhui Province carved more inscriptions into the cliffs of Mount Jiuhua, a famous tourist attraction and a sacred place of Buddhism in China for more than 2,000 years. But only 40 original inscriptions survived before 1996. The local government carved about 100 more, the writing of celebrities, Chinese calligraphers and Buddhists. The Mount Jiuhua Administration Office set up a special group to supervise the project, which was completed by the end of 1998.
Chinese workers started construction on September 9,2001 of the world’s largest statue of Bodhistattva at Mount Jiuhua. The copper statue is a 15.5-metre-tall likeness of the Buddha god of wisdom. The archetype of the statue is Jin Qiaojue, a prince from the Xinluo Kingdom (former name for the Korean Peninsular), who, according to historical records, went to Mount Jiuhua to become a monk in 719 ane spent 75 years there until his death at 99. The Luoyang Copper processing Conglomerate using imitation gold copper built the statue.
The Precious Hall of the Bodhisattva Incarnate 肉身宝殿
It is located on Shenguang Ridge west of Huachengsi Monastery. In the hall there is an incarnation pagoda housing Bodhisattva Dizang. Buddhism has it that in the Tang Dynasty, the Korean prince Kim Qiaojue (Kim Kiao Kah) came to China across the sea. He meditated for 75 years at Mount Jiuhua and passed away, or achieved nirvana at the age of 99. Because he looked very much like Bodhisattva Dizang described in Buddhist legends after his death, he was believed to be the incarnation of Bodhisattva Dizang, and was called gold Bodhisattva Dizang by the people of later generations. An incarnation pagoda (Dizang Pagoda) was built for worship. The place holding the pagoda was then called the Hall of the Incarnation. Crossing the Jiuhua Street 九华街, visitors See a flight of straight, precipitous steps leading directly to the Precious Hall. In front of the hall there is a horizontal board hanging above, carrying the words “First Mountain in the Southeast 东海第一山。”At the centre of the hall stands a seven-storey pagoda made of red wood. Top of the pagoda is decorated with a golden parasol, and inside the pagoda are eight amall chambers on every storey with over 100 statues of Dizang in the chambers. Big statues of Dizang can also be Seen in front and behind the pagoda. On both sides in the hall stand gilded status of ten Hell-kings in different gestures. The floor of the hall is paved with white marble, its roof is covered with iron tiles, and the hall is surrounded by exquisite stone pillars, carved, and painted corridors. Another horizontal board at the back of the hall carries the pledge of Dizang. According to the monks, on the anniversary of Dizang’s nirvana, Chinese and foreign pilgrims come to worship and give alms.
Accommodating 5,000 people, the Centenarian Palace 百岁宫 was built at the edge of a precipice on the East Peak and visitors can witness the incarnation of Monk Wuxia, which has existed for over 400 years but is not yet decayed. Monk Wuxia copied Huangyangjin Buddhist Scripture into 81 volumes in 38 years with the blood of his tongue and fingers mixed with gold powder.
Buddhism has it that Manjusri 文殊 or the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, or Wenshu in Chinese, is the left attendant of Sakyamuni 释迦牟尼. His birth place is said to be on Mount Wutai 五台山 in Shanxi Province, North China. As the left attendant of Sakyamuni, he is in charge of wisdom, usually shown riding a lion.
Standing side by side with Wenshu, Samantabhdra or Puxian 普贤 / the Bodhisattva of Universal Benevolence is the right attendant of Sakyamuni, Mount Emei 峨眉山 in Sichuan Province, Southwest China, has been known as the place where he gained enlightenment. He is often shown riding an elephant.
Guanyin 观音 or Avalokitesvara is the left attendant of Amitabha Buddha. She appears as one of the Three Western Sages headed by Amitabha Buddha. Guanyan is described as a Bodhisattva 菩萨 of Great Mercy, who helps the needy and relieves the distressed, cures the disabled and saves a sinking vessel whenever they call her title Bodhisattva Guanyin.
Guanyin, usually standing or sitting on a lotus flower weth a treasure vase full of dew held in her right hand, was introduced into China with Mahayana Buddhism and was first known as “Guanshiyin.”In the Tang Dynasty the Chinese character “shi” was left out because it happened to be part of the name of the reigning emperor-Li Shimin 李世民 (599-649, ruled 626-649). Thus Guanyin became the usual name. Buddhism has it that Guanyin has 31 different images with 32 incarnations. Many of the images are female ones. As early as the Northern and Southern Dynasties, the female image of Guanyin appeared, and became quite popular in the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Guanyin has many names: the White-Robed Guanyin, Dragon-Head Guanyin, Fish-Basket Guanyin, Water and Moon Guanyin, Medicine-Bestowing Guanyin, etc. Sometimes Guanyin stands on a lotus flower. Bodhisattva Guanyin gained enlightenment on Mount Putuo, on Zhoushan Island, Zhejiang Provinve, East China. Guanyin in female image is often depicted holding a tiny chinaware flask in her hand. In the Hall of Guanyin, these goddess images sometimes sit amidst burning red candles. On her three birthdays, lots of aged pilgrims come in and kowtow before them with offerings of incense. Her birthdays fall on the 19th day of the 2nd, the 6th and 9th lunar months, said to be the time for the Bodhisattva to achieve Nirvana or ascend to the Buddhist Western Happy Region.
At Mount Jiuhua, there are now over 600 monks and nuns in 94 temples.
Shouxian County 寿县
Known as an ”underground museum,” it boasts more than 160 cultural relics and historical sites. As far back as the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC) down to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911.In the county’s museum, there are more than 6,000 unearthed relics of various dynasties. Amongst these are gold, silver, bronze, iron, pottery, porcelain, jade and lacquer wares, with hundreds of pieces listed as national class A and B cultural relics. British archaeologist circles once praised the four-piece bronze ware excavated from the tomb of the King of the Chu Kingdom in 1935 as (the best in the world.) Tracing back to the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BC), the county had already become the political, economical and cultural centre in Central China. The county was once described in a history book about the Qing Dynasty as occupying “a key point where the four major rivers—the Huaihe, Yangtze, Feishui and Pihe rivers—pass through.” In fact, the county was capital of many ancient kingdoms in Chinese history. Shouxian was the capital of the Cai Kingdom as early as 493 BC. Fifty years later, the Cai Kingdom was replaced by the Chu Kingdom and Shouxian became the Chu’s capital in 241 BC. The city, still taking shape, was then called Shouchun and later renamed as Ying. More than 10,000 households resided there. After Emperor Qinshihuang unified China in 221 BC, Shouxian became the capital of Jiujiang Prefecture, one of the 36 prefectures across China. In the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 23), Shouxian became the capital of the state of Huainan. At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), China fell into national disunity and the wars among states rose one after another. In 197, warlord Yuan Shu set up his kingdom and made Shouxian the capital.
As an ancient capital, Shouxian enjoyed a high intake of grain and fish in ancient times. However, the area also suffered from floods and droughts. Sun Shu’ao, prime minister of the State of Chu during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), started constructing the Anfengtang Irrigation Project 安丰塘灌溉工程 more than 2,500 years ago, about 30 kilometres to the north of Shouxian, where hundreds of springs and streams meet at the foot of Longxue Mountain 龙雪山。A 34-kilometre 19-water-gate pond was formed which still holds more than 100 million cubic metres of water, irrigating 70,000 hectares of land in nearby areas. For thousands of years, the pond has remained in harmony with its environment. Thanks to the irrigation works, the agricultural development of the Chu was greatly promoted. The Chu became one of the five strongest states in the Spring and Autumn Period. With its rich technological and historical connotations, Anfengtang Pond 安丰塘 also named Shaopo 芍陂 played an important role in irrigation, waterway transportation and water borne troops training in history. It is still in use thousands of years later.
The Shouxian city wall 寿县古城墙 was built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The 7,000-metre-long and 10-metre high city wall has four gates and eight watch towers. Each city gate has a citadel reinforcing the city’s defense. The special design is not only strategic, but also aims to keep floods at bay. If surging flood water breaks through the outer gates and enters the citadel , it cannot reach the inside gates because the citadel will slow down the flow of water. Thus the pressure on the inside gates will be greatly decreased, protecting the city wall and the inside gates from being damaged. Thanks to this scientific design, the city wall has survived for hundreds of years. Two water gates have been built at the northeast and northwest comers of the city wall to release water that has built up in the city. In flood season, the water gates can close automatically to prevent floodwater from entering. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), a stone barrier was built among the city wall to protect its foundations. In 1991 the wall protected more than 100,000 people from the worst flooding the county had been in over 100 years. The wall has other uses too. For a stunning scenic view of the dense forests and morning mist, look out from Shouxian County’s city wall, where the Feishui river can be seen. The river is famous for passing through the ancient battlefield of the Feishui combat, a famous battle in Chinese history known for the weak defeating the strong. The environment of the Feishui River valley helped troops of the Eastern Jin defeat the strong Qin troops in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420).
Wuhu Yangyze River Bridge 芜湖长江大桥
Construction of a new bridge linking the two sides of the Yangtze River at Wuhu in East China’s Anhui Province began on March 22,1997 and was formally put into operation on September 30,2000. The total cost reached 2.8 billion yuan (US＄458 million). The two-storey bridge has a 10,520.966-metre-long railway on the lower floor and a 5,681.2-metre-long road on the upper floor, of which the main bridge spanning the river is 2,192.7 metres. The width of the bridge is 21.5 metres. It is the second railway and road bridge in East China. The other one is the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge completed and put into operation in 1968. The new bridge has helped eade traffic pressure in the booming delta region. The Wuhu Economic and Technical Zone near the bridge also benefits from the bridge.
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